Want to get involved? Section councils want you

Issue June 2003

I know you are out there. You have always thought that being involved with the MBA would be a lot of fun but really did not know how to get started. Or you assumed that, since you did not know the people in the leadership, there was no room for you.

Well … nothing could be further from the truth.

If you are interested and energetic, why not think about getting involved with one of the MBA section councils. Rich Van Nostrand, the President-Elect, is in the process of formulating the section councils for next year. While some of the councils appear to be full or nearly full, several of them still have room for people like you.

What do the section councils do? Each year the sections develop more than 100 education programs. They monitor and develop legislation and propose legislative positions for the House of Delegates to take. They also write articles for the quarterly Section Review.

Participating in a section council can be a fair amount of work, but it also is a great opportunity to spend time discussing issues with people who are interested in the same area of practice as you.

Are you from outside Boston? Please don't assume that you can't be involved. Many of the sections have some meetings outside of Boston. And council members who can't make it to every meeting often participate by telephone. So don't let geography be a barrier.

We are a statewide bar association and we seek to have all parts of the state represented on the sections. So write to me or e-mail and let me know that you are interested. I look forward to hearing from you.

New Lawyers Section opens its ranks

The MBA's New Lawyers Section is undergoing a significant change to better meet the needs of membership.

Recognizing that years in practice rather than age is the best way to define a "new" lawyer, the MBA is now extending free membership in the New Lawyers Section to any member who is in practice 10 years or less. With this complimentary section, those members will be able to choose a primary section from any of the MBA's other 15 sections. (According to MBA membership rules, all members may select one primary, or "included," section as part of their basic membership fee.)

No longer will members who've been in practice for just a few year be forced to choose between the participating in the New Lawyers Section and another more practice-specific section. Those members who qualify now will receive two sections free - automatic membership in the New Lawyers plus another section of their choice.

In addition to extending the ranks of New Lawyers Section membership, a new mission statement has been developed to more clearly define the goals of the New Lawyers Section. That statement reads:

"To support the needs of those new to the profession, the New Lawyers Section serves the needs of all attorneys in practice for 10 years or less by providing opportunities for substantive professional development through continuing legal education, networking, leadership responsibilities and public-service initiatives."

In the new membership year that begins Sept. 1, 2003, new networking opportunities, mentoring sessions, continuing legal education programs and other member benefits will be announced that will support the new goals of the New Lawyers section. This new effort follows in line with the MBA's overall pledge to provide the best resources to our members in any stage of their professional and personal development.